Mount Pleasant, WI – Drive-through testing for the COVID-19 virus will be made available to people who are pre-screened by an Ascension Medical Group provider.

The screening process can be done by phone or virtually through Ascension Online Care. Health professionals will ask questions about symptoms, travel history and any potential contact with other COVID-19 patients. Those who meet the criteria established by the Center for Disease Control will be given an appointment for drive-through testing at the appropriate site.

Patients who have been directed to a testing facility will need to remain in their vehicles. A healthcare associate will then look up the person’s information in the electronic health record to ensure they have been screened and require testing.

“Insurance information will be collected for follow-up purposes if it’s not already entered into the electronic health record. An Ascension associate will confirm that the patient has an established Ascension provider. There is no upfront charge for the testing,” according to a press release by Ascension Wisconsin. 

The test involves the healthcare professional doing a nasal swab. Once collected, the sample will be sent to a state-approved lab. The test can take up to one week. In the meantime, patients will be given information and they will be contacted with the results.

Positive test results will be given to the Wisconsin Department of Health.

“Ascension All Saints Hospital is incredibly grateful to SC Johnson for its support at a time we all need to come together, ” said Kristin McManmon, Ascension All Saints Hospital President. “We opened our first COVID-19 mobile testing site in Mt. Pleasant today and deeply appreciate the generous assistance of SC Johnson as we all work to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and care for all those in need.”

Dr. Patricia Golden, primary care medical director of Ascension Medical Group Wisconsin, said they are collaborating with local and state health officials to limit the spread of the virus. She also said the health and safety of their patients, associates and visitors are a top priority.

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It’s just a cold, why should I get tested?

While the symptoms of COVID-19 seem similar to a cold, this virus is different and our bodies do not have immunity to it, say officials with the Center for Disease Control.

Somewhere between 20 and 60 percent of adults could contract the virus and about a fifth of the people who get COVID-19 could need to be hospitalized, according to officials at Harvard.

Health officials at the Harvard Global Health Initiative have voiced concerns that the spread of the virus could mean larger numbers of people will need more medical care and public health services. If that happens, hospitals don’t have the capacity to deal with a higher volume of patient care if the virus spreads to a large number of people needing hospital care.

Symptoms range from mild to severe. Still, about 80 percent of people who contract the virus are expected to experience mild symptoms. It can take from two to 14 days after someone is exposed to the virus to appear.

Symptoms seen with the infection with COVID-19 are not specific, with cold-like symptoms in mild cases. Symptoms could include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If someone is elderly or has other medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease, diabetes or cancer, they may get sicker from the virus and develop pneumonia or other lung problems. For more information on COVID-19, please visit cdc.gov

READ: Why is the COVID-19 virus such a big deal and 5 things to know about COVID-19.

What if you need testing and don’t have a car?

For those who cannot leave home in a non-emergency situation can use a smartphone or mobile device to contact Ascension Online Care. The service provides online visits 24 hours a day. Use code HOME for a discounted $20 visit. Download the app at ascension.org/OnlineCare. Care is available in all 50 states and no insurance is required. 

There also is an Ascension COVID19 Hotline set up for those who have questions about COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms, or those who want to receive a text message to schedule an Ascension Online Care appointment with a provider. The toll-free number for Wisconsin is (833)-981-0711. 

What hospitals are doing COVID-19 testing for patients who have an appointment?

  • Ascension SE Wisconsin Hospital – Franklin Campus (Medical Office Building)
  • Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Milwaukee – Gateway Clinic (West Allis)
  • Ascension St. Francis Medical Arts Pavilion (Milwaukee) 
  • Ascension Wisconsin Health Center – Mount Pleasant Urgent Care, 10180 Washington Ave
  • Mount Pleasant, WI 53177
  • Ascension SE Wisconsin Hospital – Mayfair Road Urgent Care (Wauwatosa)
  • Grafton High School  

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Denise Lockwood

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.